(Less water in the body equals parched-looking skin.) Ruddiness in your cheeks and around your nose may also start to fade, and other skin conditions—such as dandruff, eczema, or rosacea—may also improve, Raskin says. They should start to improve as the body adjusts to being without alcohol. McMahon says quitting alcohol might cause some sleep disturbances or insomnia initially, but sleep quality and quantity will improve with continued abstinence. “Proper sleep helps us maintain physical, mental and emotional health, so it’s an important consideration,” she says. Alcohol is linked with several types of cancer, including mouth, throat, voice box, esophagus, liver, colon and rectum, and breast cancer in females. And the risk of developing these cancers increases with the amount and duration of alcohol consumption, says Andrews.

When you go sober for even a month, your body will change. Here’s … – National Geographic

When you go sober for even a month, your body will change. Here’s ….

Posted: Mon, 30 Oct 2023 07:00:00 GMT [source]

This means you will be able to take up new activities that boost your mood and stimulate cell growth in the brain, such as daily exercise. Alcohol abuse creates a complex imbalance of dopamine https://ecosoberhouse.com/ in the brain. Rational decision-making and impulse control are crucial in fighting addiction, and luckily these powerful functions of the brain will return as you begin to heal.

The Benefits of Quitting Alcohol

Symptoms can range from headache, elevated blood pressure, heart palpitations, and nausea and vomiting to tremors, hallucination and in severe cases death. Even moderate drinkers can see benefits from quitting alcohol, as it can help support a healthy lifestyle, says McMahon. It’s no secret that alcohol plays a significant role in your liver health. Chronic and excessive alcohol consumption what happens when i stop drinking alcohol can destroy liver cells, which are necessary for filtering out harmful substances in our body (the liver is our built-in detoxifier). “Fatty liver is a common phenomenon in individuals who drink heavily and regularly, leading to cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease,” says Mary Wirtz, MS, RDN, CSSD. Steering clear of alcohol, however, gives the liver a chance to regenerate.

  • If you have been drinking heavily and chronically, it is also a good idea to have your detox medically supervised to minimize your risk of potentially dangerous withdrawal complications.
  • In addition to improving your mental well-being, it may lower your risk for some mental illness and contribute to better sleep.
  • Binge drinking can lead to consuming an extra 600 calories or more in a day.
  • Some people may feel so “broken” that they almost feel they can no longer experience joy and confidence, or have healthy relationships again.
  • Alcohol has quite deleterious effects, as ethanol, an organic compound in alcohol, is a toxin to our body, Scheller explains.
  • If you want to reduce your alcohol use and stop drinking, there is help and support for you.

If you struggle to sleep, talk to your doctor about solutions that might help. While giving up alcohol can be a challenge, it’s important to remember that the benefits are well worth it.


Since alcohol can damage your cells, it may lead to DNA changes that increase your risk for certain cancers, particularly liver, colon, and rectal cancer. In fact, alcohol use accounts for 6 percent of all cancers and 4 percent of all cancer deaths in the U.S. “You may notice an increase in mental clarity and memory, [since] alcohol use can impact concentration and memory,” he explains. In extreme situations, you could become very agitated, see or feel things that aren’t there, or even have a seizure. Because of these risks, you may need medical attention while you go through the alcohol withdrawal process. AWS is more common in adults, but children and teenagers who drink excessively may also experience the symptoms.

If you need help finding a primary care doctor, then check out our FindCare tool here. It slows down brain function and changes the way your nerves send messages back and forth. For help quitting, resources are available from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) or the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder at Renewal Lodge

Realizing that you want to stop drinking is important, but actually stopping can be easier said than done. Whenever you decide it’s time to stop, work out a realistic and practical plan that focuses on safely reducing your use. Benzodiazepines carry a Food and Drug Administration boxed warning because there is a risk of dependence. If you’re prescribed a medication from this class of drugs talk with your doctor about the risks before taking them and always follow the doctor’s instructions.

If you’re an otherwise healthy person, Dr. Galligan says it should take your immune system just a few weeks to bounce back. A big part of alcohol recovery is taking steps to improve your lifestyle through changes like diet and exercise. If you’ve been trying to get to and maintain a weight that supports your health, quitting alcohol can help you meet that goal. Even if you know that there are benefits to quitting alcohol, it does not mean that it’s easy to stop drinking—especially if you’ve been misusing alcohol for a long time.

Alcohol withdrawal

Others, like loss of consciousness or slurred speech, may develop after a few drinks. It is still unknown whether these positive effects of abstinence persist beyond a month, but Moore speculated it could be possible. “It’s quite clear that alcohol has a physiological effect on the body, so I’d be surprised if all those effects just wore off,” he said. The team saw these results after adjusting for changes in diet, exercise and smoking, so the changes could be linked to people’s alcohol use.

Two-thirds of adult drinkers, however, say they exceed these levels at least once a month, a 2014 study found. Therefore, not drinking, especially for extended periods of time, can lead to significant improvements in sleep and sleep quality. “Because you may sleep more deeply when not drinking, you may notice waking up feeling sharper and more refreshed the next day,” he adds. In another survey of 857 British adults who participated in Dry January, participants also reported drinking less six months after giving up alcohol for a month. Some of the other benefits of giving up alcohol include improved sleep, improved mood, including a decrease in depression and anxiety, plus healthier skin and a healthier gut.

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